“By identifying Deeds of Variation (DOV) as “tax avoidance” the Chancellor has focused on the potential tax consequences for those who undertake tax planning. There are many cases where variations are used simply to correct tax mistakes or use business and agricultural allowances on death, where a widow and other family members of the deceased want to make a change so that the estate can go to somebody else.
“Without DOV, executors will have to resort to the Courts who will become busier with “mistake” applications along the lines of the cases of Pitt-v-Futter and negligence claims against family solicitors.
“It is a shame that something that has been around for generations to enable the straightforward handling of estates between families has been questioned as a mechanism for tax avoidance.”
Angela Pink, KPMG Communications Executive
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